Last updated on November 24th, 2022 at 04:53 am
As the year-end festivities are around the corner, I was invited to check out the preview of GOHO Kaiseki Bar‘s inaugural Christmas menu in Tanjong Pagar recently.
- 1 But first, what does Kaiseki mean?
- 2 Christmas Festive Menu
- 3 Lunch-Exclusive Christmas Menu
- 4 Christmas Dinner Menus
But first, what does Kaiseki mean?
Started back in 16th century, it is said that Keiseki is created by a tea master, Sen-no-Rikyu, who introduced a modest version of the cuisine to accompany the tea ceremony. Modern Keiseki has evolved over the centuries since then.
Keiseki is a multi-course Japanese meal that is a pre-determined set of courses that are made with seasonal produce.
It could be as simple as a multi-dish meal that is served prior to a series of matcha or Japanese tea, or a more haute and elaborate multi-course meal that is paired with sake and end with a tea service.
If you have not tried a traditional Kaiseki experience before or find that a typical Kaiseki is unexciting, then you got to check out GOHO Kaiseki Bar for a different and fun experience.
At GOHO, they do Kaiseki unconventionally.
Located in Duxton Road with the entrance via RAPPU, GOHO Kaiseki Bar is illuminated with neon lightings, filled with upbeat music and helmed by a team of young yet professional and dedicated team from The Proper Concepts Collective.
Christmas Festive Menu
Starting from 1 December 2022 to 1 January 2023, GOHO Kaiseki Bar will launch their inaugural Christmas menu for your festive indulgence.
You get to choose from lunch-exclusive menu at S$138++ (Sakura menu) where you can expect a dose of Christmas spirit on GOHO’s signature favorites to a festive and decadent line-up for dinner at S$188++ to S$248++ (Sumire and Ume menus respectively).
Lunch-Exclusive Christmas Menu
Starting from S$138++ (excluding pairing), you can enjoy this 9-course (12 dishes) lunch-exclusive Sakura menu features the Seasonal Monaka, Yoghurt Spheres, Seasonal Hassun, Sakana Mosaic, Hokkaido Pumpkin Veloute, Wagyu Short Rib, Miso Butter Engawa, Agedashi Shirako Tofu, Seasonal Donabe and Snowman Ice Cream.
This is a value-for-money option if you wish to try some of the highlights of GOHO’s Christmas dishes.
Wagyu Short Rib
This crowd-favorite dish is very easy to love. You actually get to choose between Wagyu Short Rib or Pork Jowl. I’d say just go for the Wagyu Short Rib unless you choose not to eat beef.
This dish comes with yurine (lily bulb) puree, wild mushrooms and cranberry wasabi compote and top off with shaved black winter truffles.
Miso Butter Engawa
Poached flounder fin served in bonito eggnog, green chive oil and lumpfish caviar that is elegantly executed with the right balance of umami and lightness at the same time.
When you think the Wagyu Short Rib already tasted great, this dish will surprise you.
Agedashi Shirako Tofu
Comprising of golden fried Shirako (milt) tempura in ginger tensuya dressing with shredded daiko, shirako is a prized seasonal produce that is normally eaten raw.
Here, it is deep fried tempura-style in GOHO’s Christmas menu, I’d imagine this is much easier for most people to accept and enjoy. You can say that you’ve eaten Shirako after this!
Showcasing sweet Zuwaigani crab leg meat this season complete with sasho garlic butter, wasabi furikake and small portion of claypot rice.
The smokey aroma and the sweetness of the crab leg meat makes me crave for more.
If you want more oomph, check out their Christmas menus.
Christmas Dinner Menus
GOHO’s dinner menus (Sumire S$188++ or Ume S$248++) showcase a whole Bincho-Grilled Awabi (abalone) in both Sumire and Ume menus, Togarashi Poached Lobster (only in Ume menu), and Mt. GOHO (only in Ume menu).
Which Christmas Menu to go for?
If you want to stretch your dollar, I’d say, skip the Sumire menu.
Why? Because the one additional dish that you get from Sumire menu (S$188++) vs the Sakura menu (S$138++) is the Bincho-Grilled Awabi (abalone) that is topped with uni and sea grapes and served in a bed of liver aioli and sushi rice.
And that’s a difference of S$50++ for one additional dish.
My recommendation at GOHO
What I’d recommend is to go for the lunch-exclusive Sakura menu (S$138++) or go all in with the Ume menu (SS$248++).
In the Ume menu, you get the most value from the 3 additional decadent dishes – Bincho-Grilled Awabi (abalone), Togarashi Poached Lobster and Mt. GOHO (the iconic dish at GOHO) on top of everything you get in the Sakura menu.
Mt. GOHO comprises a decadent stack of uni (sea urchin), wagyu (Japanese beef), toro (tuna’s belly), ikura (salmon roe), kani (crab), and caviar smoked in a burgundy glass and dusted with snow salt for a festive spirit.
Even though I’m not crazy over Mt. GOHO (Ume menu), it is an absolute showstopper dish at GOHO Kaiseki Bar. It’s a novelty for most and it is a great dish for diners who enjoy having a stack of premium ingredients all-in-one.
Togarashi Poached Lobster
For me, I really enjoyed the Togarashi Poached Lobster the most in this Ume menu.
It is a whole poached lobster tail layered with a Togarashi (Japanese spice blend) broil.
Easily the most simple looking dish out of all the courses, I simply love how beautifully poached it was during my visit.
The Togarashi broil’s subtle spice blend brought out the sweetness of the skilfully poached lobster tail and the portion was really generous and meaty.
This dish was alone is worth the upgrade from Sakura to Ume menu.
Christmas Cocktails & Pairings
You can choose to go for non-alcoholic/alcoholic pairings (starting from S$38++ and S$58++) for your Keiseki menu or even festive cocktails like:
Pina Eggnog: Festive eggnog with rum, pineapple tepache, coconut oat blend and spiced sake reduction
The Apple Pie: Shochu, lacto-fermented apple, spice syrup, and tasted cheese foam
The Chestnut: Remy Martin VSOP, Baileys and a chestnut blend
Now you know where to go for a fun Kaiseki experience in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore! Where else do you want me to check out next? Let me know via email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
GOHO Kaiseki Bar
53A Duxton Road, S089517 ( Entrance via RAPPU )
Wednesdays – Fridays: 18:00 – 00:00
Saturdays: 12:00 – 14:00; 18:00 – 00:00
Sundays: 12:00 – 14:00; 18:00 – 22:30
Photo credit: GOHO Kaiseki